What is an entrepreneur? Growing up I heard that anyone who had the moxie to start their own business was an entrepreneur. So, for years I imagined anyone who refused to “work for the man” as a daring person who loved to take risks. Although most of them have some of the qualities of an entrepreneur, not every business owner is one.
In recent years I have taken quite a few career risks in an effort to obtain a better financial return on investment (ROI) on the talents that God has given me. I have had several people make the comment that I have an “entrepreneurial spirit.” Although I never labeled myself an entrepreneur, I started wondering what really defines one.
Of the entrepreneurs I know, these qualities seem common to all of them:
They refuse to put all their eggs in one basket: None of the entrepreneurs I know depend on one job or investment; they diversify. Even if they are working on one project, they are always looking for the next opportunity. They are often involved in more than one project at a time.
They expect change: Where most people fear change, an entrepreneur understands that nothing will ever stay the same. They expect change to occur, so they don’t have the negative emotional response that most people seem to have when change occurs.
They anticipate change: Entrepreneurs not only expect change, they look for it. They know it is coming and they have learned the patterns that occur as change approaches. This enables them to make decisions ahead of time and causes them to look like prophets when in reality they have just acquired a skill that most people cannot obtain because of their fear of change.
They facilitate change: The truly experienced entrepreneurs take it to the next level and facilitate change. Understanding how change effects most people, they take advantage of having the emotional upper hand and continue to look for and implement the next innovative idea.
They take risks: Most people define risk as having mostly negative results. This is because most people make emotional decisions in risky situations, increasing the odds of experiencing negative consequences. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, see risk as containing the greatest opportunities, but they take calculated risks that involve a lot of research.
They are perpetual students: While most people pretend they know things they don’t so they can impress others, an entrepreneur knows that he doesn’t know everything. Because of this knowledge he surrounds himself with people who know a lot about the projects and investments that are important to him. He asks a lot of questions and he listens to the answers!
In our current economy it is being speculated that most people’s success will hinge on their ability to create a small business. Corporate America is no longer a place to find financial safety and security. Now more than ever people will need to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and take calculated risks in order to make it financially.
If you don’t begin to embrace the change that is already occurring around you, it will eventually overtake you anyway. The real question is do you want to control your ride on the winds of change, or just have them carry you away?
You don’t have to quit your day job to start on the entrepreneurial path, but you will have to change some of your thinking. If you want to get started but you aren’t sure how, find a good business or life coach to help you on your journey.
You are going on a journey whether you like it or not. Do you have the moxie to take the reins and start steering?